My question is in the title, the below paragraph is the backstory for anyone interested. I just want to know if a general term that refers to any broad class of materials anything close to what is listed exists in English, or if not, in another language which I may borrow a word from. After all, English is kind of a language of loan words.

I'm working on some code to help me categorize items in various video games for efficient sorting and I've run into an issue. I need to put materials "from the ground", or "natural blocks", together into one category, and I want it to be divided into solid "stones", and something else. What should I call these remainders, which are all more granulated sorts of naturally occurring ground materials generally?

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    Why not call them granulars? merriam-webster.com/dictionary/granular. Normally an adjective, but it covers these kinds of materials.
    – Xanne
    Commented May 29, 2020 at 1:49
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    Construction supply and landscape companies refer to many of these as fill materials. That term might not include every item you listed. Ground fill or back fill are similar terms but might be less inclusive. You could start in that area though. Hence this is a comment and not an answer.
    – Damila
    Commented May 29, 2020 at 1:55

2 Answers 2


I looked in Wikipedia's Glossary of geology and found some words that might work:

Detritus is particles of rock derived from pre-existing rock through processes of weathering and erosion. A fragment of detritus is called a clast or clastic rock.

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    Lexico defines detritus as gravel, sand, silt, or other material produced by erosion, so detritus touches quite a few bases. It works well with solid "stones", and a second meaning as waste or debris of any kind reminds me of the IP's remainders, i.e., everything left over after solid "stones". Commented May 29, 2020 at 4:33
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    Thank you! I think soil and detritus would cover everything, so I no longer need a term to cover the whole class because I now have two mutually exclusive terms which cover the whole class, and I love how it's from geological vocabulary rather than an unscientific term lacking a precise definition. Commented May 30, 2020 at 19:07

In terms of haulage and shipping, that kind of stuff is sometimes referred to as Aggregate

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